The Guptas believe that Pravin Gordhan’s court application, as well as the decision by South Africa’s four biggest banks to sever ties with them, is all part of a conspiracy to discredit them.
This is according to their lawyer, Gert van der Merwe, who spoke with eNCA on Tuesday. In the interview, van der Merwe says he believes that the family has been unfairly treated by the media because of their relationship with President Jacob Zuma.
“The fact of the matter is that this is the experience they’ve lived on a daily basis. We have a constitution. That constitution says until you’re found guilty you’re innocent. When you’re a Gupta it’s different. When you’re a Gupta, you’re guilty until proven innocent, and I don’t understand that,” van der Merwe said to eNCA.
He went on to say that the court documents he will file on the family’s behalf, in response Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s court application, will show that the family are the casualties of a focused, politically-driven smear campaign.
Late last year the finance minister approached the North Gauteng High Court and requested legal intervention. The finance minister alleged that the Gupta family had been pressuring him to intervene in four banks decisions to cut ties with them as clients. He wanted the court to legally declare that as finance minister he had no authority to intervene in who banks chose as clients.
In his application, Gordhan alluded to R6.8 billion worth of unusual transactions as possibly being the cause of the four major banks in South Africa deciding to let go of the Gupta family as clients. His application also allowed the banks to revoke client confidentiality by involving them in his bid.
Van der Merwe confirmed that he will be filing papers on January 20.